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Court Overturns Charge Against Mona Kanciper of New York Horse Rescue-UPDATED 3/13/14

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  • Court Overturns Charge Against Mona Kanciper of New York Horse Rescue-UPDATED 3/13/14

    The following is a press release from Mona Kanciper of New York Horse Rescue.

    IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE: MONA KANCIPER, NEW YORK HORSE RESCUE

    Court Overturns Charge Against Mona Kanciper, Horse Rescuer

    (Manorville, NY – November 16, 2012) The New York State Appellate Court, Second Department has ruled for Mona Kanciper, a horse rescuer who was charged wrongfully for child endangerment. The court ruled her charges reversed and the original indictment dismissed.

    Kanciper said, “I am overwhelmed by the Court's decision. My faith in the justice system is restored. The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (SCSPCA) case against me was false from beginning to end and they must be stopped from targeting other innocent people. I look forward to winning my State and Federal lawsuits against the SCPCA and their volunteers for their abuse of power and wrongful prosecution of me. It is important to hold this organization accountable so they will think twice before doing the same thing to someone else. I, together with New York Horse Rescue, will continue our mission of rescuing and rehabilitating horses.”

    "I'm gratified the appellate court relied on the very facts brought out by the defense in overturning this decision. In my view the case was an enormous waste of time and money. It was driven by malice against Mona Kanciper , the insatiable desire of the SPCA for publicity and the District Attorney's inability to admit it made a mistake.” said Kanciper’s trial attorney, Paul Gianelli.

    Laurie Hershey, appeal attorney for Mona Kanciper, said; "The important part of the decision was that the Appellate Division did not merely reverse the conviction, but also dismissed the charges which amounts to a complete vindication of Mona Kanciper. The prosecution never had a case against Ms. Kanciper and the Appellate Division"s dismissal of the charges for 'legally insufficient evidence' makes that eminently clear."

    Civil attorney Alan Sash, Esq. said, “I am extremely pleased with the court's decision. We look forward to vigorously pursuing Mona Kanciper’s and New York Horse Rescue's State and Federal civil claims against the Suffolk County SPCA. As a lawyer, it's a good feeling when justice is done. "

    The Suffolk County District Attorney brought the outrageous charges of animal cruelty and child endangerment against Kanciper based upon false accusations by disgruntled employee who sent a letter to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SCSPCA), which conducted virtually no investigation. Mona Kanciper was found innocent last year of all charges of animal cruelty.

    DECISION & ORDER
    Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Suffolk County (Hudson, J.), rendered January 24, 2012, convicting her of endangering the welfare of a child, after a nonjury trial, and imposing sentence.

    ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, on the law, the indictment is dismissed, and the matter is remitted to the County Court, Suffolk County, for the purpose of entering an order in its discretion pursuant to CPL 160.50.

    The defendant was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child after she injected a dog with a tranquilizer in the presence of a child. Viewed in the light most favorable to the People (see People v Contes, 60 NY2d 620, 621), the evidence failed to establish that witnessing the injection of the tranquilizer was likely to result in harm to the physical, mental, or moral welfare of the child (see Penal Law § 260.10[1]; People v Hitchcock, 98 NY2d 586, 590-591). There was no evidence demonstrating that the child was aware, at the time she witnessed the injection, that the defendant intended to euthanize the dog later that day, or that she was upset by seeing the dog receive the tranquilizer injection. The child was familiar with medical treatments requiring injections, as she had seen her own pet dog injected on many occasions to treat his diabetes. Consequently, the evidence supporting the defendant's conviction was not legally sufficient (see People v Contes, 60 NY2d at 621).

    Contact: Lonnie Soury, Soury Communications, Inc. (212) 414-5857 Lsoury@aol.com

    http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3ds...2012_07695.htm

    Here is the latest update on Mona and NYHR from Newsday:

    Head of group, SPCA settle abuse suit
    March 4, 2014 BY ANDREW SMITH

    The head of a horse rescue group and the Suffolk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have settled two lawsuits she filed -- after she was arrested on animal cruelty charges, for which she was ultimately cleared.


    The terms of the settlement were sealed, but both sides said they were pleased that years of litigation were over.

    "We are pleased to have resolved these matters with Ms. Kanciper," Roy Gross, chief of the SPCA, said in a prepared statement. "We wish Ms. Kanciper well in her future endeavors."
    The litigation was spawned by a 2010 raid on Mona Kanciper's Manorville horse farm.
    SPCA officers went looking for evidence of horse abuse and found none, but charged her with abusing dogs. Suffolk County Court Judge James Hudson acquitted her of those charges in a 2011 nonjury trial, but convicted her of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, for euthanizing a dog in a young girl's presence. An appellate court later threw out that conviction, ruling there was no evidence of a crime.

    The federal suit said the SPCA, a nonprofit group based in Smithtown and authorized by state law to investigate animal cruelty cases, improperly got search warrants to dig up Kanciper's farm and search her house, refused to let her call her attorney and held her captive during a March 2010 raid.

    "A whole swarm of people came, thinking I'd killed all these horses," she said when the suits were filed. "It was devastating."

    Her group, New York Horse Rescue, has saved more than 1,500 mistreated horses since 1999, she has said. She also teaches horseback riding.

    Kanciper said she is now focused on her pending federal lawsuit against Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota and former Assistant District Attorney Leonard Lato for their roles in her prosecution. That suit charges that after two other prosecutors said there was no case against Kanciper, Lato revived it and came to the farm to observe the SPCA's search, and that Spota exercised no control over him.

    "I always colored between the lines," Kanciper said, saying she never did anything wrong. "I think what Lato and Spota did was just despicable."

    A spokesman for Spota declined to comment.


    Last year U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt ruled that Lato and Spota's actions were not covered by prosecutorial immunity, which protects prosecutors for their actions in court. It does not cover investigative or administrative actions, Spatt ruled.
    Last edited by Phaxxton; Mar. 13, 2014, 12:08 PM.



  • #2
    Maybe I missed something? Would this DA assert that I was damaged as a child by seeing a chicken butchered? A horse euthanized? A dog euthanized? A deer shot? What in the world???
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Unfortunately, yes. The entire case against Mona was absolutely ridiculous.

      I am intimately familiar with the entire case against Mona. The entire criminal case was built of lies and, quite frankly, BS. This particular ridiculous allegation was the only charge of which she was convicted at trial and has finally been reversed and dismissed on appeal. The entire investigation and criminal case was a circus.

      Here is an earlier update from Mona, posted after the criminal trial ended, but before the appeal that was just decided: http://nyhr.org/forms/update_from_mona.pdf As stated in this update, the event in question did not even happen at all - and a witness testified to as much at trial. Regardless, even if it did happen, it was absolutely preposterous to allege that a child seeing a dog receive an injection = child endangerment, especially considering that child has a dog that receives regular injections for diabetes.


      Comment


      • #4
        Oh my, I guess I was a much abused child. I watched my dad slaughter chickens and turkeys and butcher beef, hogs and deer when I was a child. I thought all those innards were cool and I could name all the parts of a cow's digestive system before I was in 1st grade. I not only watched him give shots, I learned how and gave them myself starting when I was around 10.
        I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Phaxxton View Post
          Regardless, even if it did happen, it was absolutely preposterous to allege that a child seeing a dog receive an injection = child endangerment, especially considering that child has a dog that receives regular injections for diabetes. [/COLOR]
          I remember reading some of this in the news and thinking "OMG. If these people had any idea how many horses I have sedated and even euthanized in front of minors..."
          Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
          Sam: A job? Does it pay?
          Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
          Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow, I am really glad she won in the end and hope that her lawyers are successful in their suit against the SPCA.

            It sounds like the Suffolk County DA's office needs to do better fact checking before taking a case like this to court.
            My blog: Crackerdog Farm

            Comment


            • #7
              Geez...So does this mean I'm damaged because my school had me dissect various animals in my middle school science classes and in my biology classes in high school?

              Though I suppose they were already dead, so does that not count.

              Glad they reversed the conviction.
              The Sempiternal Horse

              Comment


              • #8
                So happy for Mona. I hope she wins a big, fat settlement and can finally move on with her life. What a tough couple of years she's had.
                Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Clearly there were some very bored prosecutors in that area that could not find some real crimes to deal with.

                  How is a child witnessing an injection of any type a bad thing?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Crackerdog View Post
                    W

                    It sounds like the Suffolk County DA's office needs to do better fact checking before taking a case like this to court.
                    Indeed. Suffolk County is one of the most corrupt counties in the country. It's the same county in which the infamous the Marty Tankleff case took place!

                    I'm just so happy that, after a very long road, there is finally some justice for Mona!


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So very glad to hear of this. I hope she'll be able to continue to help horses.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Happy to hear this. Have adopted a few NYHR horses in the past and Mona's operation was excellent.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Here is the latest update on Mona and NYHR from Newsday.

                          Head of group, SPCA settle abuse suit
                          March 4, 2014 BY ANDREW SMITH

                          The head of a horse rescue group and the Suffolk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have settled two lawsuits she filed -- after she was arrested on animal cruelty charges, for which she was ultimately cleared.


                          The terms of the settlement were sealed, but both sides said they were pleased that years of litigation were over.

                          "We are pleased to have resolved these matters with Ms. Kanciper," Roy Gross, chief of the SPCA, said in a prepared statement. "We wish Ms. Kanciper well in her future endeavors."
                          The litigation was spawned by a 2010 raid on Mona Kanciper's Manorville horse farm.
                          SPCA officers went looking for evidence of horse abuse and found none, but charged her with abusing dogs. Suffolk County Court Judge James Hudson acquitted her of those charges in a 2011 nonjury trial, but convicted her of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, for euthanizing a dog in a young girl's presence. An appellate court later threw out that conviction, ruling there was no evidence of a crime.

                          The federal suit said the SPCA, a nonprofit group based in Smithtown and authorized by state law to investigate animal cruelty cases, improperly got search warrants to dig up Kanciper's farm and search her house, refused to let her call her attorney and held her captive during a March 2010 raid.

                          "A whole swarm of people came, thinking I'd killed all these horses," she said when the suits were filed. "It was devastating."

                          Her group, New York Horse Rescue, has saved more than 1,500 mistreated horses since 1999, she has said. She also teaches horseback riding.

                          Kanciper said she is now focused on her pending federal lawsuit against Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota and former Assistant District Attorney Leonard Lato for their roles in her prosecution. That suit charges that after two other prosecutors said there was no case against Kanciper, Lato revived it and came to the farm to observe the SPCA's search, and that Spota exercised no control over him.

                          "I always colored between the lines," Kanciper said, saying she never did anything wrong. "I think what Lato and Spota did was just despicable."

                          A spokesman for Spota declined to comment.


                          Last year U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt ruled that Lato and Spota's actions were not covered by prosecutorial immunity, which protects prosecutors for their actions in court. It does not cover investigative or administrative actions, Spatt ruled.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jeez Louis, we can't do anything to the real abusers who run fake rescues so instead we go after legitimate rescues for senseless ok downright STUPID stuff?!

                            Whatever

                            Glad she got righted

                            Comment

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